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Shireen Parsai, Jacob A. Miller, Aditya Juloori, Samuel T. Chao, Rupesh Kotecha, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Erin S. Murphy, Gene H. Barnett, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov, David M. Peereboom and John H. Suh

OBJECTIVE

With increasing survival for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer in the trastuzumab era, there is an increased risk of brain metastasis. Therefore, there is interest in optimizing intracranial disease control. Lapatinib is a small-molecule dual HER2/epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor that has demonstrated intracranial activity against HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of lapatinib combined with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on local control of brain metastases.

METHODS

Patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases who underwent SRS from 1997–2015 were included. The primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of local failure following SRS. Secondary outcomes included the cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis and overall survival.

RESULTS

One hundred twenty-six patients with HER2+ breast cancer who underwent SRS to 479 brain metastases (median 5 lesions per patient) were included. Among these, 75 patients had luminal B subtype (hormone receptor-positive, HER2+) and 51 patients had HER2-enriched histology (hormone receptor-negative, HER2+). Forty-seven patients received lapatinib during the course of their disease, of whom 24 received concurrent lapatinib with SRS. The median radiographic follow-up among all patients was 17.1 months. Concurrent lapatinib was associated with reduction in local failure at 12 months (5.7% vs 15.1%, p < 0.01). For lesions in the ≤ 75th percentile by volume, concurrent lapatinib significantly decreased local failure. However, for lesions in the > 75th percentile (> 1.10 cm3), concurrent lapatinib did not significantly improve local failure. Any use of lapatinib after development of brain metastasis improved median survival compared to SRS without lapatinib (27.3 vs 19.5 months, p = 0.03). The 12-month risk of radiation necrosis was consistently lower in the lapatinib cohort compared to the SRS-alone cohort (1.3% vs 6.3%, p < 0.01), despite extended survival.

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib concurrently with SRS improved local control of brain metastases, without an increased rate of radiation necrosis. Concurrent lapatinib best augments the efficacy of SRS for lesions ≤ 1.10 cm3 in volume. In patients who underwent SRS for HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib at any time point in the therapy course was associated with a survival benefit. The use of lapatinib combined with radiosurgery warrants further prospective evaluation.

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Benjamin B. Whiting, Bryan S. Lee, Vaidehi Mahadev, Hamid Borghei-Razavi, Sanchit Ahuja, Xuefei Jia, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Gene H. Barnett, Lilyana Angelov, Shobana Rajan, Rafi Avitsian and Michael A. Vogelbaum

OBJECTIVE

Current management of gliomas involves a multidisciplinary approach, including a combination of maximal safe resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The use of intraoperative MRI (iMRI) helps to maximize extent of resection (EOR), and use of awake functional mapping supports preservation of eloquent areas of the brain. This study reports on the combined use of these surgical adjuncts.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of patients with gliomas who underwent minimal access craniotomy in their iMRI suite (IMRIS) with awake functional mapping between 2010 and 2017. Patient demographics, tumor characteristics, intraoperative and postoperative adverse events, and treatment details were obtained. Volumetric analysis of preoperative tumor volume as well as intraoperative and postoperative residual volumes was performed.

RESULTS

A total of 61 patients requiring 62 tumor resections met the inclusion criteria. Of the tumors resected, 45.9% were WHO grade I or II and 54.1% were WHO grade III or IV. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring modalities included speech alone in 23 cases (37.1%), motor alone in 24 (38.7%), and both speech and motor in 15 (24.2%). Intraoperative MRI demonstrated residual tumor in 48 cases (77.4%), 41 (85.4%) of whom underwent further resection. Median EOR on iMRI and postoperative MRI was 86.0% and 98.5%, respectively, with a mean difference of 10% and a median difference of 10.5% (p < 0.001). Seventeen of 62 cases achieved an increased EOR > 15% related to use of iMRI. Seventeen (60.7%) of 28 low-grade gliomas and 10 (30.3%) of 33 high-grade gliomas achieved complete resection. Significant intraoperative events included at least temporary new or worsened speech alteration in 7 of 38 cases who underwent speech mapping (18.4%), new or worsened weakness in 7 of 39 cases who underwent motor mapping (18.0%), numbness in 2 cases (3.2%), agitation in 2 (3.2%), and seizures in 2 (3.2%). Among the patients with new intraoperative deficits, 2 had residual speech difficulty, and 2 had weakness postoperatively, which improved to baseline strength by 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective case series, the combined use of iMRI and awake functional mapping was demonstrated to be safe and feasible. This combined approach allows one to achieve the dual goals of maximal tumor removal and minimal functional consequences in patients undergoing glioma resection.

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Aditya Juloori, Jacob A. Miller, Shireen Parsai, Rupesh Kotecha, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Erin S. Murphy, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett, Jennifer S. Yu, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Brian Rini, Jorge Garcia, Glen H. Stevens, Lilyana Angelov and Samuel T. Chao

OBJECTIVE

The object of this retrospective study was to investigate the impact of targeted therapies on overall survival (OS), distant intracranial failure, local failure, and radiation necrosis among patients treated with radiation therapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) metastases to the brain.

METHODS

All patients diagnosed with RCC brain metastasis (BM) between 1998 and 2015 at a single institution were included in this study. The primary outcome was OS, and secondary outcomes included local failure, distant intracranial failure, and radiation necrosis. The timing of targeted therapies was recorded. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to model OS, while multivariate competing-risks regression was used to model local failure, distant intracranial failure, and radiation necrosis, with death as a competing risk.

RESULTS

Three hundred seventy-six patients presented with 912 RCC BMs. Median OS was 9.7 months. Consistent with the previously validated diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment (DS-GPA) for RCC BM, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) and number of BMs were the only factors prognostic for OS. One hundred forty-seven patients (39%) received vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Median OS was significantly greater among patients receiving TKIs (16.8 vs 7.3 months, p < 0.001). Following multivariate analysis, KPS, number of metastases, and TKI use remained significantly associated with OS.

The crude incidence of local failure was 14.9%, with a 12-month cumulative incidence of 13.4%. TKIs did not significantly decrease the 12-month cumulative incidence of local failure (11.4% vs 14.5%, p = 0.11). Following multivariate analysis, age, number of BMs, and lesion size remained associated with local failure. The 12-month cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis was 8.0%. Use of TKIs within 30 days of SRS was associated with a significantly increased 12-month cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis (10.9% vs 6.4%, p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS

Use of targeted therapies in patients with RCC BM treated with intracranial SRS was associated with improved OS. However, the use of TKIs within 30 days of SRS increases the rate of radiation necrosis without improving local control or reducing distant intracranial failure. Prospective studies are warranted to determine the optimal timing to reduce the rate of necrosis without detracting from survival.

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Mayur Sharma, Jason L. Schroeder, Paul Elson, Antonio Meola, Gene H. Barnett, Michael A. Vogelbaum, John H. Suh, Samuel T. Chao, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Glen H. J. Stevens, Erin S. Murphy and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant form of astrocytoma. The average survival is 6–10 months in patients with recurrent GBM (rGBM). In this study, the authors evaluated the role of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in patients with rGBMs.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of their brain tumor database (1997–2016). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) after salvage SRS were the primary endpoints evaluated. Response to SRS was assessed using volumetric MR images.

RESULTS

Fifty-three patients with rGBM underwent salvage SRS targeting 75 lesions. The median tumor diameter and volume were 2.55 cm and 3.80 cm3, respectively. The median prescription dose was 18 Gy (range 12–24 Gy) and the homogeneity index was 1.90 (range 1.11–2.02). The median OS after salvage SRS was estimated to be 11.0 months (95% CI 7.1–12.2) and the median PFS after salvage SRS was 4.4 months (95% CI 3.7–5.0). A Karnofsky Performance Scale score ≥ 80 was independently associated with longer OS, while small tumor volume (< 15 cm3) and less homogeneous treatment plans (homogeneity index > 1.75) were both independently associated with longer OS (p = 0.007 and 0.03) and PFS (p = 0.01 and 0.002, respectively). Based on these factors, 2 prognostic groups were identified for PFS (5.4 vs 3.2 months), while 3 were identified for OS (median OS of 15.2 vs 10.5 vs 5.2 months).

CONCLUSIONS

SRS is associated with longer OS and/or PFS in patients with good performance status, small-volume tumor recurrences, and heterogeneous treatment plans. The authors propose a prognostic model to identify a cohort of rGBM patients who may benefit from SRS.

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Jacob A. Miller, Ehsan H. Balagamwala, Camille A. Berriochoa, Lilyana Angelov, John H. Suh, Edward C. Benzel, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Todd Emch, Anthony Magnelli, Andrew Godley, Peng Qi and Samuel T. Chao

OBJECTIVE

Spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a safe and effective treatment for spinal metastases. However, it is unknown whether this highly conformal radiation technique is suitable at instrumented sites given the potential for microscopic disease seeding. The authors hypothesized that spinal decompression with instrumentation is not associated with increased local failure (LF) following SRS.

METHODS

A 2:1 propensity-matched retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing SRS for spinal metastasis was conducted. Patients with less than 1 month of radiographic follow-up were excluded. Each SRS treatment with spinal decompression and instrumentation was propensity matched to 2 controls without decompression or instrumentation on the basis of demographic, disease-related, dosimetric, and treatment-site characteristics. Standardized differences were used to assess for balance between matched cohorts.

The primary outcome was the 12-month cumulative incidence of LF, with death as a competing risk. Lesions demonstrating any in-field progression were considered LFs. Secondary outcomes of interest were post-SRS pain flare, vertebral compression fracture, instrumentation failure, and any Grade ≥ 3 toxicity. Cumulative incidences analysis was used to estimate LF in each cohort, which were compared via Gray’s test. Multivariate competing-risks regression was then used to adjust for prespecified covariates.

RESULTS

Of 650 candidates for the control group, 166 were propensity matched to 83 patients with instrumentation. Baseline characteristics were well balanced. The median prescription dose was 16 Gy in each cohort. The 12-month cumulative incidence of LF was not statistically significantly different between cohorts (22.8% [instrumentation] vs 15.8% [control], p = 0.25). After adjusting for the prespecified covariates in a multivariate competing-risks model, decompression with instrumentation did not contribute to a greater risk of LF (HR 1.21, 95% CI 0.74–1.98, p = 0.45). The incidences of post-SRS pain flare (11% vs 14%, p = 0.55), vertebral compression fracture (12% vs 22%, p = 0.04), and Grade ≥ 3 toxicity (1% vs 1%, p = 1.00) were not increased at instrumented sites. No instrumentation failures were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

In this propensity-matched analysis, LF and toxicity were similar among cohorts, suggesting that decompression with instrumentation does not significantly impact the efficacy or safety of spine SRS. Accordingly, spinal instrumentation may not be a contraindication to SRS. Future studies comparing SRS to conventional radiotherapy at instrumented sites in matched populations are warranted.

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Lilyana Angelov, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Mahmoud Abbassy, Paul Elson, Samuel T. Chao, Joshua S. Montgomery, Ghaith Habboub, Michael A. Vogelbaum, John H. Suh, Erin S. Murphy, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Sean J. Nagel and Gene H. Barnett

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the primary modality for treating brain metastases. However, effective radiosurgical control of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm in maximum diameter remains challenging and is associated with suboptimal local control (LC) rates of 37%–62% and an increased risk of treatment-related toxicity. To enhance LC while limiting adverse effects (AEs) of radiation in these patients, a dose-dense treatment regimen using 2-staged SRS (2-SSRS) was used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of this treatment strategy.

METHODS

Fifty-four patients (with 63 brain metastases ≥ 2 cm) treated with 2-SSRS were evaluated as part of an institutional review board–approved retrospective review. Volumetric measurements at first-stage stereotactic radiosurgery (first SSRS) and second-stage SRS (second SSRS) treatments and on follow-up imaging studies were determined. In addition to patient demographic data and tumor characteristics, the study evaluated 3 primary outcomes: 1) response at first follow-up MRI, 2) time to local progression (TTP), and 3) overall survival (OS) with 2-SSRS. Response was analyzed using methods for binary data, TTP was analyzed using competing-risks methods to account for patients who died without disease progression, and OS was analyzed using conventional time-to-event methods. When needed, analyses accounted for multiple lesions in the same patient.

RESULTS

Among 54 patients, 46 (85%) had 1 brain metastasis treated with 2-SSRS, 7 patients (13%) had 2 brain metastases concurrently treated with 2-SSRS, and 1 patient underwent 2-SSRS for 3 concurrent brain metastases ≥ 2 cm. The median age was 63 years (range 23–83 years), 23 patients (43%) had non–small cell lung cancer, and 14 patients (26%) had radioresistant tumors (renal or melanoma). The median doses at first and second SSRS were 15 Gy (range 12–18 Gy) and 15 Gy (range 12–15 Gy), respectively. The median duration between stages was 34 days, and median tumor volumes at the first and second SSRS were 10.5 cm3 (range 2.4–31.3 cm3) and 7.0 cm3 (range 1.0–29.7 cm3). Three-month follow-up imaging results were available for 43 lesions; the median volume was 4.0 cm3 (range 0.1–23.1 cm3). The median change in volume compared with baseline was a decrease of 54.9% (range −98.2% to 66.1%; p < 0.001). Overall, 9 lesions (14.3%) demonstrated local progression, with a median of 5.2 months (range 1.3–7.4 months), and 7 (11.1%) demonstrated AEs (6.4% Grade 1 and 2 toxicity; 4.8% Grade 3). The estimated cumulative incidence of local progression at 6 months was 12% ± 4%, corresponding to an LC rate of 88%. Shorter TTP was associated with greater tumor volume at baseline (p = 0.01) and smaller absolute (p = 0.006) and relative (p = 0.05) decreases in tumor volume from baseline to second SSRS. Estimated OS rates at 6 and 12 months were 65% ± 7% and 49% ± 8%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

2-SSRS is an effective treatment modality that resulted in significant reduction of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm, with excellent 3-month (95%) and 6-month (88%) LC rates and an overall AE rate of 11%. Prospective studies with larger cohorts and longer follow-up are necessary to assess the durability and toxicities of 2-SSRS.

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Rupesh Kotecha, Jacob A. Miller, Vyshak A. Venur, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Samuel T. Chao, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett, Erin S. Murphy, Pauline Funchain, Jennifer S. Yu, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov and Manmeet S. Ahluwalia

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), BRAF status, and targeted and immune-based therapies on the recurrence patterns and factors associated with overall survival (OS) among patients with melanoma brain metastasis (MBM).

METHODS

A total of 366 patients were treated for 1336 MBMs; a lesion-based analysis was performed on 793 SRS lesions. The BRAF status was available for 78 patients: 35 had BRAFmut and 43 had BRAF wild-type (BRAF-WT) lesions. The Kaplan-Meier method evaluated unadjusted OS; cumulative incidence analysis determined the incidences of local failure (LF), distant failure, and radiation necrosis (RN), with death as a competing risk.

RESULTS

The 12-month OS was 24% (95% CI 20%–29%). On multivariate analysis, younger age, lack of extracranial metastases, better Karnofsky Performance Status score, and fewer MBMs, as well as treatment with BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi), anti–PD-1/CTLA-4 therapy, or cytokine therapy were significantly associated with OS. For patients who underwent SRS, the 12-month LF rate was lower among those with BRAFmut lesions (6%, 95% CI 2%–11%) compared with those with BRAF-WT lesions (22%, 95% CI 13%–32%; p < 0.01). The 12-month LF rates among lesions treated with BRAFi and PD-1/CTLA-4 agents were 1% (95% CI 1%–4%) and 7% (95% CI 1%–13%), respectively. On multivariate analysis, BRAF inhibition within 30 days of SRS was protective against LF (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01–0.55; p = 0.01). The 12-month rates of RN were low among lesions treated with BRAFi (0%, 95% CI 0%–0%), PD-1/CTLA-4 inhibitors (2%, 95% CI 1%–5%), and cytokine therapies (6%, 95% CI 1%–13%).

CONCLUSIONS

Prognostic schema should incorporate BRAFi or immunotherapy status and use of targeted therapies. Treatment with a BRAF inhibitor within 4 weeks of SRS improves local control without an increased risk of RN.

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Alireza M. Mohammadi, Jason L. Schroeder, Lilyana Angelov, Samuel T. Chao, Erin S. Murphy, Jennifer S. Yu, Gennady Neyman, Xuefei Jia, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett and Michael A. Vogelbaum

OBJECTIVE

The impact of the stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) prescription dose (PD) on local progression and radiation necrosis for small (≤ 2 cm) brain metastases was evaluated.

METHODS

An institutional review board–approved retrospective review was performed on 896 patients with brain metastases ≤ 2 cm (3034 tumors) who were treated with 1229 SRS procedures between 2000 and 2012. Local progression and/or radiation necrosis were the primary end points. Each tumor was followed from the date of radiosurgery until one of the end points was reached or the last MRI follow-up. Various criteria were used to differentiate tumor progression and radiation necrosis, including the evaluation of serial MRIs, cerebral blood volume on perfusion MR, FDG-PET scans, and, in some cases, surgical pathology. The median radiographic follow-up per lesion was 6.2 months.

RESULTS

The median patient age was 56 years, and 56% of the patients were female. The most common primary pathology was non–small cell lung cancer (44%), followed by breast cancer (19%), renal cell carcinoma (14%), melanoma (11%), and small cell lung cancer (5%). The median tumor volume and median largest diameter were 0.16 cm3 and 0.8 cm, respectively. In total, 1018 lesions (34%) were larger than 1 cm in maximum diameter. The PD for 2410 tumors (80%) was 24 Gy, for 408 tumors (13%) it was 19 to 23 Gy, and for 216 tumors (7%) it was 15 to 18 Gy. In total, 87 patients (10%) had local progression of 104 tumors (3%), and 148 patients (17%) had at least radiographic evidence of radiation necrosis involving 199 tumors (7%; 4% were symptomatic). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed for local progression and radiation necrosis. For local progression, tumors less than 1 cm (subhazard ratio [SHR] 2.32; p < 0.001), PD of 24 Gy (SHR 1.84; p = 0.01), and additional whole-brain radiation therapy (SHR 2.53; p = 0.001) were independently associated with better outcome. For the development of radiographic radiation necrosis, independent prognostic factors included size greater than 1 cm (SHR 2.13; p < 0.001), location in the corpus callosum (SHR 5.72; p < 0.001), and uncommon pathologies (SHR 1.65; p = 0.05). Size (SHR 4.78; p < 0.001) and location (SHR 7.62; p < 0.001)—but not uncommon pathologies—were independent prognostic factors for the subgroup with symptomatic radiation necrosis.

CONCLUSIONS

A PD of 24 Gy results in significantly better local control of metastases measuring < 2 cm than lower doses. In addition, tumor size is an independent prognostic factor for both local progression and radiation necrosis. Some tumor pathologies and locations may also contribute to an increased risk of radiation necrosis.

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Jacob A. Miller, Ehsan H. Balagamwala, Samuel T. Chao, Todd Emch, John H. Suh, Toufik Djemil and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to define symptomatic and radiographic outcomes following spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

METHODS

All patients with pathological diagnoses of myeloma undergoing spine SRS at a single institution were included. Patients with less than 1 month of follow-up were excluded. The primary outcome measure was the cumulative incidence of pain relief after spine SRS, while secondary outcomes included the cumulative incidences of radiographic failure and vertebral fracture. Pain scores before and after treatment were prospectively collected using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), a validated questionnaire used to assess severity and impact of pain upon daily functions.

RESULTS

Fifty-six treatments (in 38 patients) were eligible for inclusion. Epidural disease was present in nearly all treatment sites (77%). Moreover, preexisting vertebral fracture (63%), thecal sac compression (55%), and neural foraminal involvement (48%) were common. Many treatment sites had undergone prior local therapy, including external beam radiation therapy (EBRT; 30%), surgery (23%), and kyphoplasty (21%). At the time of consultation for SRS, the worst, current, and average BPI pain scores at these treatment sites were 6, 4, and 4, respectively. The median prescription dose was 16 Gy in a single fraction. The median clinical follow-up duration after SRS was 26 months. The 6- and 12-month cumulative incidences of radiographic failure were 6% and 9%, respectively. Among painful treatment sites, 41% achieved pain relief adjusted for narcotic usage, with a median time to relief of 1.6 months. The 6- and 12-month cumulative incidences of adjusted pain progression were 13% and 15%, respectively. After SRS, 1-month and 3-month worst, current, and average BPI scores all significantly decreased (p < 0.01). Vertebral fracture occurred following 12 treatments (21%), with an 18% cumulative incidence of fracture at 6 and 12 months. Two patients (4%) developed pain flare following spine SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

This study reports the largest series of myeloma lesions treated with spine SRS. A rapid and durable symptomatic response was observed, with a median time to pain relief of 1.6 months. This response was durable among 85% of patients at 12 months following treatment, with 91% local control. The efficacy and minimal toxicity of spine SRS is likely related to the delivery of ablative and conformal radiation doses to the target. SRS should be considered with doses of 14–16 Gy in a single fraction for patients with multiple myeloma and limited spinal disease, myelosuppression requiring “marrow-sparing” radiation therapy, or recurrent disease after EBRT.

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Mayur Sharma, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Gazanfar Rahmathulla, Samuel T. Chao, Hilary K. Koech, Stephanie N. Gregory, Todd Emch, Anthony Magnelli, Antonio Meola, John H. Suh and Lilyana Angelov

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) of the spine is a conformal method of delivering a high radiation dose to a target in a single or few (usually ≤ 5) fractions with a sharp fall-off outside the target volume. Although efforts have been focused on evaluating spinal cord tolerance when treating spinal column metastases, no study has formally evaluated toxicity to the surrounding organs at risk (OAR), such as the brachial plexus or the oropharynx, when performing SRS in the cervicothoracic region. The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiation dosimetry and the acute and delayed toxicities of SRS on OAR in such patients.

METHODS

Fifty-six consecutive patients (60 procedures) with a cervicothoracic spine tumor involving segments within C5–T1 who were treated using single-fraction SRS between February 2006 and July 2014 were included in the study. Each patient underwent CT simulation and high-definition MRI before treatment. The clinical target volume and OAR were contoured on BrainScan and iPlan software after image fusion. Radiation toxicity was evaluated using the common toxicity criteria for adverse events and correlated to the radiation doses delivered to these regions. The incidence of vertebral body compression fracture (VCF) before and after SRS was evaluated also.

RESULTS

Metastatic lesions constituted the majority (n = 52 [93%]) of tumors treated with SRS. Each patient was treated with a median single prescription dose of 16 Gy to the target. The median percentage of tumor covered by SRS was 93% (maximum target dose 18.21 Gy). The brachial plexus received the highest mean maximum dose of 17 Gy, followed by the esophagus (13.8 Gy) and spinal cord (13 Gy). A total of 14 toxicities were encountered in 56 patients (25%) during the study period. Overall, 14% (n = 8) of the patients had Grade 1 toxicity, 9% (n = 5) had Grade 2 toxicity, 2% (n = 1) had Grade 3 toxicity, and none of the patients had Grade 4 or 5 toxicity. The most common (12%) toxicity was dysphagia/odynophagia, followed by axial spine pain flare or painful radiculopathy (9%). The maximum radiation dose to the brachial plexus showed a trend toward significance (p = 0.066) in patients with worsening post-SRS pain. De novo and progressive VCFs after SRS were noted in 3% (3 of 98) and 4% (4 of 98) of vertebral segments, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

From the analysis, the current SRS doses used at the Cleveland Clinic seem safe and well tolerated at the cervicothoracic junction. These preliminary data provide tolerance benchmarks for OAR in this region. Because the effect of dose-escalation SRS strategies aimed at improving local tumor control needs to be balanced carefully with associated treatment-related toxicity on adjacent OAR, larger prospective studies using such approaches are needed.